Baring my heart.

Mysterious as the dark side of the moon.

Tag: SOS

Unirregular

There’s a blog bug goin’ around in GFRESH and it doesn’t seem to have bitten me yet.

I’ve been struggling like crazy to formulate a post in which I share all the lessons I’ve learnt from and since SOS camp. But with all the distractions, I haven’t been able to collect my thoughts properly into a clear and articulate post that doesn’t go off into different tangents at every paragraph.

People have been asking me when I’m going to post a new one, so I feel somewhat pressured to write a post that has a huge bang; one that leaves everyone in absolute awe of my wisdom. But I realised that it would be ridiculous and that’d be impossible.

So instead of trying to write something, I’m just going to post the transcript of part of a preaching by Joseph Prince from Hillsong Conference in 2007. My sister was actually watching the DVD of said preaching one afternoon, and I was sitting in the lounge room as well, eating, and I heard this part and it left me in awe. So here, I share it to you, because it is an amazing teaching:

[Referring to John 13:23-24] The Bible says that John was leaning on Jesus’ breast that night. It’s an expression of depending on the Lord’s love for him, not on his love for the Lord. He wasn’t leaning on his own bosom. He was depending on the Lord’s love for him.

Peter, on the other hand — he defies the believers and the law who boast of their love for the Lord. When the Lord says, “One of you shall betray me,” Peter said, “Lord, if all these should betray You, I’d never, ever betray You. And where You go, I’ll follow, I’ll follow. [Sings] You’ll always be my first love, my first love…” Before the night was over, he denied ever, ever knowing his Master. Whereas when you find the disciple who boasts of the Lord’s love for him, John… at the foot of the cross.”

The first result of knowing that you are loved by God, of practising the sense of being loved by God, to be effectively under grace is to always feed on his love for you, because it’s a fixed and constant that God loves you.

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Countdown

Three has this ‘Planet 3’ mobile web thing that you check from your phone, and a particular section of it allows you to check how much of your cap you’ve already spent. I went to go check it, to see how much of my cap was now gone due to the amount of text messages I’d sent today. The ad at the top of this page advertises the free Facebook access that members of 3 have, which lasts until the end of September. When I signed in to Planet 3, this is what I saw:

There's no way to do a screenshot on my phone. I had to stick it in front of my webcam.

Now, as you might know, I haven’t been on Facebook in a while. So, obviously, the ad doesn’t appeal to me. It isn’t relevant. But what was relevant was the number ’20’.

No, it has nothing to do with the fact that I’m turning 20 soon. Actually, I’m referring to the fact that there are members of 3 who got addicted to Facebook because of 3’s “Free Facebook” promotion which was originally meant to end on August 31st. And these same people, when they discovered that the promotion got extended to September 30, obviously took advantage of it. Why? ‘Cause they don’t want to pay an extra $5 a month to have internet access on their phones.

So now, these people are all sitting, standing, pooping, or walking with their eyes glued to their phone thinking I better make the most of this free Facebook access on my mobile! because they only have 20 days left till it’s no longer free (or so we think). They’re all anxious and biting their nails, ’cause in 20 days, they’ll be forced to actually talk to people face to face, instead of commenting on the Facebook status of the person sitting across the room from them.

I, however, am not at all worried about the free-access-to-Facebook-promotion ending. Seeing “20 days to go” actually made me think of SOS camp.

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I’m aiming for a HD

I’m studying for an exam that’s far more important than any other, and while I now know all the theory, I’m finding it hard to actually apply it in order to pass the exam — which is the application of the theory in my life. Anticipating the final exam is getting me more pumped for SOS (graduation), but if I don’t study hard enough and I end up with less than a High Distinction, I’ll feel guilty throughout my graduation ceremony because I didn’t reach the standard I had set for myself earlier, which was to get a HD. Sure, a Distinction, Credit or Pass will still result in me getting my diploma and graduating, but a HD is my target and goal. If I miss my target, even by one mark, graduation will not be a time for me to celebrate my achievements — it will just be another ceremony, another piece of paper, another camp.

After a student graduates from high school, what do they do? They celebrate, they party, they go on holiday, they become lazy and sleep in every day. The better prepared students, however, will have applied for jobs well before graduation, so that when they leave school, they are not being idle and they are making the most of their time. They will enter the REAL WORLD in order to MAKE A LIVING.

Often, after youth camps, the passion resides. The youth were zealous during the 3 or 4 days of camp, but when they return home and enter the REAL WORLD (school, work, etc.), their passion dies and they stop studying. They become lazy, sleepy and idle. They go back to their old ways of living, which, in reality, means spiritual death.

This fast is preparation for my turn to enter the REAL WORLD, so that when I graduate — when SOS is over and I go back to uni the following day — my passion will not die and I won’t stop studying. I won’t have a “job”, per se, but there will be a change reflected in me that will alert people in the REAL WORLD that I am “making a living” — that I am going to work every day; that I am dying to self and taking up my cross daily.

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you.

John 14:26

The Holy Spirit, my Teacher, did not teach me the things that He has and then tested me on it so that I would graduate, and then that was it. He didn’t teach me important, life-changing lessons so that I would forget all of it after graduation, but so that when employers (the unsaved) look at my qualifications, they see that I HAVE the qualifications. They will see that I when I carry the name of Christ, it is not merely a label to notify other Christians that we can hang out on a Sunday morning. But it is a title, a name, and a calling that I was predestined to have. It is a way of living that I will choose to live on a daily basis, not so that I look holy compared to the rest of the world, but because I desire to live the Matthew 22:37 life — to love the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind.

– “Keep moving forward.” – Walt Disney

 

45 Day Fast

Associating the number 45 with fasting sounds ridiculous, but who said extending a 40 day fast was wrong?

In the Bible, the number 40 is repeated a whole lot, but it is my understanding that in the Hebrew culture, 40 was not always to be considered a literal measurement of time. I remember someone explaining it to me [and a large congregation of people] in a way similar to the way I will explain now:

As I’m typing this post, it is Saturday the 16th of August, 2009. Forty days ago, it was Tuesday the 7th of July, 2009. I have no idea what happened on that day. If something significant happened on that day, maybe, but as far as I can recall, it was an ordinary day that I most likely spent sleeping in and pigging out on food. I more than likely also watched an episode of Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation that night.

It was the middle of November last year 40 weeks ago. I guess I was finishing up my Diploma of Business Management course at TAFE (ugh, I’m glad TAFE is over). It’s now my second [long] semester at UWS, and it doesn’t feel like I went to TAFE just last year.

Forty months ago was April 2006. At that time, I was in Year 11, still new to Penrith Christian Community School. Before the end of the year, the school board removed “community” from the school’s name, and they also promoted the new uniform. Since April of 2006, the current Year 12 class (grade above me) graduated, my grade graduated, and my brother’s grade (the grade below) graduated. April 2006 feels like a really, really long time ago.

Campbells_Soup_CansThe Beatles, Muhammed Ali, Julie Andrews, and Martin Luther King, Jr. were just some of the people who made the 60s a memorable decade. Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Can and the high-riding bell bottoms were at their peak 40 years ago, and people in my generation will definitely never really understand what is so artistic about a bunch o’ cans. Forty years ago, my parents were still kids. I think it’s pretty obvious that 40 years ago was a really, really long time ago.

The Hebrews didn’t use the number 40 as an accurate measurement of time, because 40 basically meant “a really long time ago.” You can’t really remember what happened 40 days, weeks, months or years ago. The span of time just feels as if it has been going on forever.

Why am I talking about the number 40? Why indeed.

The GFRESH leaders, connect leaders and worship team will be taking part in a 40 day fast in preparation for SOS 09, the Generation Fresh youth camp. Corporately, we will be fasting television, secular music and Facebook. In addition to that, we will each be fasting anything else that will or may hinder us or distract us from getting ready for SOS.

So, where do I come into all of this?

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